Conceptual drawing of monorail. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
Conceptual drawing of monorail. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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Billboard advertising the venture.
Billboard advertising the venture.
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Groundbreaking ceremony for the Fillmore Mononrail which took place July 7th 1927. Pictured is Clarence Arrasmith, City Manager, standing. Seated L to R: Dock Wyatt (Santa Paula); Mayor W. H. Price; P. S. Coombs, VP Sespe Development Company; J. O. Groves, head engineer, Sespe Development Company; Joseph McNab, chairman of the ceremony; David J. Reese, Ed Goodenough; reporters.
Groundbreaking ceremony for the Fillmore Mononrail which took place July 7th 1927. Pictured is Clarence Arrasmith, City Manager, standing. Seated L to R: Dock Wyatt (Santa Paula); Mayor W. H. Price; P. S. Coombs, VP Sespe Development Company; J. O. Groves, head engineer, Sespe Development Company; Joseph McNab, chairman of the ceremony; David J. Reese, Ed Goodenough; reporters.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

1927 was the high point of the Roaring 20s. Lindbergh flew the Atlantic, Ford brought out its new Model A and Fillmore was going to get a Monorail – well maybe……

In May, 1927, Mr. P. S. Coombs came to town. He told city leaders he was formerly chief engineer for the city of Chicago and was now the vice-president of the Sespe Development Company, a Delaware corporation. The Sespe Development Company had determined that developing the Sespe Hot Springs area with a hotel and health spa would be a wonderful idea and to facilitate people’s travel to the hot springs, a monorail would be built. He even had a conceptual drawing of the monorail. The Chamber of Commerce agreed that this would be a wonderful idea. For many years local folks had enjoyed the hot springs and recently there had been people from Los Angeles traveling to the Sespe for “the cure.” Wasn’t there already the Hot Springs Hotel and a spa? This was a Fillmore joke, since the hotel was a shack without even an outhouse and the spa was some tarps hung on poles around one of the hot springs.

Coombs was soon joined by Dr. Ernest Basher who said he represented a medical group from Los Angeles interested in developing the health spa, as well as Frank Buren, president of the Sespe Development Company and J. O. Groves, head engineer. A crew was brought in and a wagon road was blasted through to Grassy Flat where the main construction camp would be.

While this was going on, W. E. Campbell, a well-known Fillmore real estate agent, was appointed to sell shares in the company to the public at $100 per share (about $1500 in today’s money). The conceptual drawing now adorned the Chamber of Commerce’s letterhead with the slogan “Home of the Monorail”.

On July 16, 1927 a dedication ceremony was held chaired by John McNab. McNab was the founder of the Sespe Land and Water Company which had originally purchased the land Fillmore was on from the heirs of Thomas More. It was the Sespe Land and Water Company who had sold the land to the Southern Pacific for the depot, thus creating the town of Fillmore. P. S. Coombs gave a rousing speech about the plans for the monorail – why it might go as far as Bakersfield or even San Francisco. Those purchasing shares now would not regret it, think how much your shares in Ford would be if you had bought early! Eventually Mayor W. H. Price dug the first shovelful of dirt with a silver plated shovel and the project was officially started.

Within a week, P. S. Coombs, Buren, Groves and Basher had all disappeared along with the silver plated shovel. In September, the Chamber of Commerce was reported as “wanting an inquiry as to what has become of the monorail project.” That was the last heard of the project. Fillmore had been suckered. When the old timers were asked bout the project didn’t seem to want to talk about it. If anyone finds some monorail stock certificates among their family papers, they have no value, but the Museum would love to have one for our collection.

For more on Fillmore’s history, visit fillmorehistoricalmuseum.org.

 


 
Fillmore Unified School District
Fillmore Unified School District

Dear Fillmore Unified School District Families,
The purpose of this letter is to provide district families with an update on actions in support of students and the introduction of our Distance Learning for students. Our Board of Trustees and district staff hope that you and your families are healthy and safe during this difficult time. The Fillmore Unified School District believes deeply in continuing our efforts to support our students and remains committed to providing meals and instruction even though our physical schools are closed.

General Information
- All Fillmore Unified Schools and facilities will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year.
- District owned facilities and offices are closed to the public and visitors.
- During our closure you may see staff from Child Nutrition, Maintenance, Technology Services, Management, etc. in our facilities. Each of them is performing an "essential service" and is working to ensure continued supports for our students.

Meal Distribution
- Fillmore Unified is committed to providing meals for district students during the closure including during the upcoming Spring Recess.
- Meal distribution is now occurring once a week during which students are provided with a "5 day pack" of meals (5 breakfasts and 5 lunches).
- Meal distribution occurs at the following sites: a Mountain Vista Elementary School a Fillmore Middle School a Piru Community Center
- Our next meal distribution was scheduled for Monday, April 6, 2020 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM at the above locations.
- Communication regarding the meal distribution can be found on the district website, www,fillmoreusd.org or via Blackboard Connect Ed messages

Spring Recess
-The scheduled Spring Recess is April 6th-10th, 2020
- We encourage families, students, and staff to use this time to care for themselves and others.

Distance Learning
- Beginning April 13, 2020, Distance Learning will focus on providing district students with instruction that is directed and supported by your child's teacher(s)
- Teachers will be establishing initial contact with students between April 13-20, 2020
- Students in all grades will be supported by their teacher(s) with specific differences based on grade level
- Children enrolled in Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and 1° grade will receive work packets created by their teachers as well as weekly contacts with the teacher
- Students in grades 2-12 will receive access to instruction through the use of technology. Devices, iPads for students in grade 2 and laptops for students in grades 3-12, and network access will be provided to any Fillmore USD student who needs them to participate in instruction.
- Information on the distribution of technology will be provided to families during the week of April 6, 2020
- All district teachers, specialists, and managers will be using the Microsoft Teams platform to work together to support student instruction.
- Students in grades 2-12 will also receive access to Microsoft Teams where they will have opportunities to meet with their teacher(s) in video conferences and access assignments to complete.
- The Fillmore USD Microsoft Teams access is limited to district employees and enrolled students only.
- Resources for students and families to learn how to navigate with Microsoft Teams will be made available to district families.
- A list of digital learning resources are already available to all students on the district website under the title Distance Learning Support Class of 2020 Graduation, Senior Events, etc.
- The Fillmore Unified School District Governing Board remains committed to honoring the Class of 2020 at a time when the risk to the health and safety of our district community is no longer present.
- We remain in close contact with our county health officials and do not yet know when we can provide an update on this topic given the current circumstances.

Our teachers, principals, and other staff have been hard at work to prepare for providing instruction beyond our traditional schools and classrooms. We look forward with optimism to the opportunities for our teachers to work with your child through Distance Learning. As questions arise, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s teacher or principal. Together we will be able to navigate through the current challenges. Keep healthy and thank you in advance for your patience throughout this difficult time.

Sincerely,
Adrian E. Palazuelos, Fillmore Unified Superintendent

 


 
Photo of the Week: "Gertrude, the Queen of the Harford pier, Port San Luis Harbor, Avila, CA" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera with Tamron 16-300mm lens @59mm. Exposure; ISO 800, aperture f/11, 1/125 second shutter speed.
Photo of the Week: "Gertrude, the Queen of the Harford pier, Port San Luis Harbor, Avila, CA" by Bob Crum. Photo data: Canon 7DMKII camera with Tamron 16-300mm lens @59mm. Exposure; ISO 800, aperture f/11, 1/125 second shutter speed.
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Four days and three scary nights
Bob Crum
Bob Crum

I confess that this dastardly COVID-19 pandemic is troublesome. Being on the highly vulnerable list, worry is unavoidable. While I can't change the events, the circumstances are forcing me to reexamine some aspects of my life. But details are not fodder for this column. Instead, while confined to home, I'll admit that I've whiled away many hours reminiscing. Ah, the joy of nostalgia. Also thinking about how all of this might affect my photography future. But I digress.

Back in PP (Pre-Pandemic) days, many of my 'phonetography' friends struggled to understand why I continue to carry around a heavy black object (camera) hung from my neck. Because it's complicated, I struggled mightily to summarize an answer in less than 3,000 words. I never get to finish my answer.

I experienced the military in the U.S. Air Force stationed at Kadina Air Base, Okinawa. On leave in Tokyo, Japan, I bought my first camera. The first photos were of snow-capped Mt. Fujiyama (Fuji-san). On that day, photography became my middle name and has since added thousands of hours of excitement and enjoyment.

Upon my honorable discharge, I entered the workforce (WTVJ-TV Miami) to earn a living to support a growing family. I didn't yet have sufficient photography experience to work in that field. Nevertheless, I had a new purpose for photography: Photographing the kids as they grew!

Photography also gives me a reason to travel and explore new places. Like most people, there's a degree of pleasure from memorable experiences when going somewhere new. More importantly, I get to exercise and enjoy unlimited creativity.

The majority of my adult life was in South Florida, where I unceasingly explored the terrain from Lake Okeechobee to Key West. The rest of the state also explored as time permitted. I would peruse outdoor magazines and look with awe at many of the fascinating places to visit. In one magazine, I saw exciting photos of the Okeefenokee Swamp.

In the 1860s, the Lee family moved to Billy's Island in the heart of the Okeefenokee and lived off the land for decades. Though fire and the Civilian Conservation Corps removed most evidence of human activity on the island, the cemetery, rusty remnants of the logging camp, along with an Indian mound remained.

I had to see (experience) this mysterious swamp. In my inflatable raft, I spent four exciting days exploring the waterscape and three scary nights camping on Billy's Island. A story for another time. Note that I survived buzzing skeeters, giant spiders, slithering water moccasins (cottonmouth snakes) and cantankerous alligators. And for all this fascinating wildlife, I had only three rolls of film and one bottle of Jack Daniels.

Relocating to California after Hurricane Andrew, a camera in hand, the drive to explore the countryside continued. Why not? California has a plethora of rich, tantalizing photo ops ripe for photoing!

There are some places I frequently visit because of the variety of photo ops in one trip—for example, Gopher Glen farms in See Canyon. Gopher Glen farms grow a variety of scrumptious heritage apples, the kind you'll never find in a supermarket. Oh, don't get me started on their apple butter and apple cider. Soooo good.

After my annual purchase of goodies, I usually visit the Woodstone Marketplace, a country-style, counter-serve restaurant offering delish deli eats at Avila. Afterward, on to the Harford pier, replete with wildlife, including mermaids. There's never something to photograph.

From the archives, the photo of the week, showing me her better side, is blushing Gertrude, Queen of the Harford Pier at the Port San Luis Harbor.

Send comments, suggestions or questions to: focusonphotography@earthlink.net

 


 
 


 
Patrick Maynard
Patrick Maynard

Sheriff Bill Ayub is proud to announce the appointment of Patrick Maynard as the Director of the Office of Emergency Services. Patrick is a 9-year member of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, who began his career in 2011 as the alert and warning coordinator in the Office of Emergency Services (OES).

For the past seven years, Patrick has overseen the operations, training, and finance sections of OES. He has been the acting director of OES since the summer of 2019 when a nationwide recruitment was initiated to replace Kevin McGowan, who previously held the position. That recruitment effort culminated in the selection of Patrick as the OES director this week. He has taken the helm during a critical time when one of the greatest challenges confronts Ventura County residents: the Coronavirus pandemic.

Patrick has extensive experience managing the county’s response and recovery efforts to many disasters, including fires, mudslides, oil spills, and the Borderline mass shooting.

“I am thrilled with Patrick’s appointment,” said Ventura County CEO Mike Powers. “I have had the pleasure of working closely with Patrick during our last few incredibly challenging years, and I have found him to be bright, strategic, collaborative and extremely hard-working - everything you want in an emergency manager and leader. With the partnerships he has established across our community and his ‘whatever-it takes-to-get-it done’ approach, we are fortunate to have him in this crucial role during this unprecedented health crisis.”

Prepared by: Captain Eric Buschow
Approved by: Sheriff Bill Ayub

 
Even the Fillmore Indian is taking COVID-19 protection seriously. Be safe for yourself and the community.
Even the Fillmore Indian is taking COVID-19 protection seriously. Be safe for yourself and the community.
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Thank you to Kay Wilson-Bolton and everyone who showed up early to help with the food bagging for food distribution at the SPIRIT of Santa Paula shelter. An extra big thank you to everyone who came out, including Adrianna Ocegueda, Brandy Lengning, Heather Merenda and her son Angelo. Thank you to the Fillmore people who committed to come and help. If you were unable to go, there will be opportunities in the future. The event was open to in-need households in the Santa Clara River Valley, including Fillmore and Piru. Food distribution started at 2:30 pm on March 21st at 1498 E Harvard Blvd, Santa Paula, Ca. Courtesy Fillmore City Council Member Manuel Minjares Facebook page.
Thank you to Kay Wilson-Bolton and everyone who showed up early to help with the food bagging for food distribution at the SPIRIT of Santa Paula shelter. An extra big thank you to everyone who came out, including Adrianna Ocegueda, Brandy Lengning, Heather Merenda and her son Angelo. Thank you to the Fillmore people who committed to come and help. If you were unable to go, there will be opportunities in the future. The event was open to in-need households in the Santa Clara River Valley, including Fillmore and Piru. Food distribution started at 2:30 pm on March 21st at 1498 E Harvard Blvd, Santa Paula, Ca. Courtesy Fillmore City Council Member Manuel Minjares Facebook page.
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Vons is taking extra precautions, controlling how many are allowed to shop, sanitizing carts, marking floors for social distancing, and installing plexiglass sneeze guards at cashiers’ stations. Courtesy Nextdoor.com
Vons is taking extra precautions, controlling how many are allowed to shop, sanitizing carts, marking floors for social distancing, and installing plexiglass sneeze guards at cashiers’ stations. Courtesy Nextdoor.com
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Vons has installed plexiglass sneeze guards at each cashiers’ station to help stop any spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Vons has installed plexiglass sneeze guards at each cashiers’ station to help stop any spread of the COVID-19 virus.
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Santa Barbara, CA - Facing weeks of isolation, disruption, and stress, Californians are looking to our magnificent outdoor spaces to maintain physical and emotional health. The State’s stay at home order allows outdoor recreation, but this must be practiced with the utmost of care not to contribute to community spread of the COVID-19 virus, or put additional stress on under-resourced communities.

Officials closed dozens of state parks and state beaches because of crowding, and the Forest Service shut down “developed recreation facilities” in all of California’s national forests, including Los Padres. This means that all forest campgrounds are closed, but remote walk-in sites in the backcountry remain open at this time. For now, roads and trails in the Los Padres that are normally open this time of year remain accessible. Several national parks and monuments have also been shuttered at the urging of local communities to preserve resources and prevent contagion.

On the Central Coast, locally-operated parks, beaches, and trails remain open. “We can still go for a hike, run, or ride out on the trail, or camp in the backcountry or in dispersed sites,” said Rebecca August, advocacy director at Los Padres ForestWatch. “But we have an added responsibility to take extreme care not to put ourselves and others at risk while we’re out there having fun.”

This region has a wealth of natural outdoor spaces. Most communities are within reach of oak-forested trails, expansive beaches, or hills covered in chaparral and wildflowers beginning to bloom. These spaces can continue to be a source of healing and strength for our community, if residents exercise the necessary discipline to maintain social distancing and sanitation.

“A little dose of nature could be really good for everyone,” says Bryant Baker, conservation director at Los Padres ForestWatch.

Below are some guidelines to help you better determine whether visiting public lands like the Los Padres National Forest is right for you, and if so, how to do it safely.

Seven Guidelines to Follow

1. Stay at home if you feel sick, are experiencing any symptoms, or are in a high-risk group.

2. If you decide to visit the trails, stick close to home. Traveling through even nearby towns to access trails can have negative impacts including the spread of COVID-19—especially in under-resourced communities.

3. If you notice a trailhead appears crowded or if the parking lot is full, turn around and head to a different trail that has fewer people. Overcrowding is the #1 reason for trail closures; this will help keep our trails open.

4. Avoid unnecessary risk. Be aware that emergency services may be delayed if you get lost or in an accident. More importantly, requiring search and rescue puts emergency personnel at greater risk and taxes an already overburdened first responder and hospital network.

5. Always maintain at least six feet from other trail users. Wider trails and dirt roads are best. Announce yourself when there is less visibility. You should also try to hike with as small a group as possible—stick with just one hiking buddy or your immediate family.

6. Do not share food, or drinks with other trail users, or handle equipment or any item someone else may have touched.

7. Be prepared. Bathrooms, trash removal, and other services are likely to be suspended.

The above guidelines are in addition to the seven Leave No Trace principles that should always be followed when visiting public lands.